Irwin's opponent, John Spisak, moved to Ann Arbor in 1989 and says he's running because "I love it here and want to give back." He doesn't support his party's entire recent record in Lansing. "I disagree with much of what they did with education," he says, adding "if elected, I won't work for the party. I'll work for the people who put me there." But Spisak's race is so low-key that he's not even accepting political contributions: "Any money people want to donate, I tell them to give it to charity."
The Republican running in the reconfigured Fifty-Fifth, Owen Diaz, isn't afraid of bumping heads. As mayor of Milan, he says, "I fired the chief of police and the administrator. I told them we have to change, and they didn't, so I changed the locks on the police commissioner and the administrator."
Diaz says he's running as a Republican because "I don't believe in abortion, and I believe in one man-one woman marriage." But he also has "some plans on how to improve the economy," including a business relocation incentive program: "If a business comes here [to Michigan], the first year they pay no corporate income tax, the second year, 35 percent, third year, 50 percent, the fourth year, 75 percent, and the fifth year, the full load. The beauty is that the company will buy materials locally and hire people locally, and the people will pay income tax and they'll consume."